India-born fashion designer Naeem Khan, whose creations have been worn by United States First Lady Michelle Obama, hopes to grow his brand back home from where he draws inspiration for his creations.
“India is always on my mind and the country plays a tremendously huge role for me, because everything I do comes from how I grew up in India,” said Khan backstage before showcasing his Autumn/Winter 2014 collection at New York Fashion Week here.
Khan, whose clients include Beyonce, Taylor Swift and actress Penelope Cruz, has had his designs grace the silver screen in fashion film classics like ”Sex and the City” and “Dreamgirls.”
He said he wants to grow his brand in India and have his collection worn by leading Indian actresses like Deepika Padukone.
“I have taken a lot from India and I have still not given back to it. I have this hope that one day I will go back and make the most amazing collection for India,” he said.
Khan, 55, had debuted his collection in India last year at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai but feels that “it is not so easy” to expand the brand in the country since he does not yet have his own pre-standing stores there.
In the U.S., the designer said he is used to making clothes in large quantities, but in India “selling one or two pieces is not where the business” is for him currently.
Khan said he would want to design for more Indian actresses, who have seen and appreciated his creations for Hollywood celebrities.
The problem is that “my clothes are not available in India yet,” he said, adding that hopefully there will be a time soon when his collection, including fragrances and cosmetics, will be sold in India.
Khan’s autumn/winter collection, inspired by the world of cabaret and boudoir, was showcased at the fashion week to a packed audience, which included model and television host Padma Lakshmi.
The 44 pieces showcased included cocktail dresses, skirts, trumpet gowns, pants and evening coats that were embellished with gold filigree embroidery, jewel trims, ostrich feather hems, floral appliqué work and miuki beads.
Khan, who is from Ujjain, had moved to the U.S. as a teenager and apprenticed for classic American fashion house Halston, where he absorbed the secrets of draping and cutting fabric to create a clean, elegant, timeless silhouette, according to his profile on his website.
He launched his eponymous collection, Naeem Khan, in 2003 and began selling at high-fashion names like Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. His collection is now sold at more than 100 specialty stores across the world.